The First reading at Mass today, the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, tells a story of sin and repentance and mercy that should prepare us for the principal reading in the Liturgy of the Word, today’s Gospel with account of Jesus and the woman with a bad name in the town, and great love in her heart.
The story of King David is very different but with a poignancy and consequences that today’s short passage can only allude to.
The episode we hear today focuses us on the gratuity of God’s mercy. David does so little even to show his repentance- but forgiveness is so suddenly, and so freely, given.
Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord the God of Israel says this, “I anointed you king over Israel; I delivered you from the hands of Saul; I gave your master’s house to you, his wives into your arms; I gave you the House of Israel and of Judah; and if this were not enough, I would add as much again for you. Why have you shown contempt for the Lord, doing what displeases him? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, taken his wife for your own, and killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. So now the sword will never be far from your House, since you have shown contempt for me and taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.”’
David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ Then Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord, for his part, forgives your sin; you are not to die.’
2 Samuel 12:7-10,13
- What makes you sorry for sin?
- Does anything hold you back from admission of sin?
Mephistopheles. Mark Anatolsky. Russian Museum, St Petersburg, Russia. (c) 2015, Allen Morris